Medical Industry Resists Phasing Out Radioactive Material

Global Security Newswire Staff
Add to Briefcase
Global Security Newswire Staff
May 13, 2014, 8:09 a.m.

Gov­ern­ment ef­forts to elim­in­ate the com­mer­cial use of a ra­dio­act­ive ma­ter­i­al deemed a se­cur­ity risk have run in­to op­pos­i­tion from the med­ic­al sec­tor.

The Obama ad­min­is­tra­tion an­nounced earli­er this year that it would work to phase out com­mer­cial ap­plic­a­tions of a num­ber of ra­dio­act­ive sub­stances that could be used to build a so-called “dirty bomb.” Such a weapon would use con­ven­tion­al ex­plos­ives to dis­perse pois­on­ous ra­dio­act­ive ma­ter­i­al over a wide area.

Among the com­mon com­mer­cial sub­stances tar­geted for elim­in­a­tion is cesi­um chlor­ide. The gov­ern­ment is try­ing to con­vince hos­pit­als and blood banks in the coun­try to cease us­ing ir­ra­di­at­or ma­chines that con­tain cesi­um chlor­ide and in­stead use X-ray ir­ra­di­at­ors to make sure blood is safe for trans­fu­sion. The gov­ern­ment is weigh­ing us­ing grants and oth­er in­duce­ments to en­cour­age the move away from cesi­um chlor­ide ir­ra­di­at­ors, uniden­ti­fied of­fi­cials and spe­cial­ists told the Bo­ston Globe for a Monday art­icle.

In ad­di­tion to be­ing ex­tremely ra­dio­act­ive, cesi­um chlor­ide is also dis­solv­able in wa­ter. These char­ac­ter­ist­ics make the ma­ter­i­al “a great­er con­cern than oth­er ra­di­ation sources,” ac­cord­ing to a 2008 find­ing by the Na­tion­al Re­search Coun­cil.

However, some med­ic­al pro­fes­sion­als and com­pan­ies are res­ist­ing the urged change on the grounds that the new­er X-ray ir­ra­di­at­ors are too ex­pens­ive and more prone too break­ing down.

“X-ray ir­ra­di­at­ors break with reg­u­lar aban­don, so of course you have to buy two,” said Jed Gorlin, vice pres­id­ent of med­ic­al and qual­ity af­fairs at In­nov­at­ive Blood Re­sources in St. Paul, Minn.

Miles Pom­per, a seni­or re­search as­so­ci­ate at the James Mar­tin Cen­ter for Non­pro­lif­er­a­tion Stud­ies, said that fin­an­cial motives are a sig­ni­fic­ant con­trib­ut­ing factor to the res­ist­ance.

“There are go­ing to be win­ners and losers,” Pom­per said. “The people who only make cesi­um chlor­ide aren’t go­ing to like it.”

What We're Following See More »
WITH LIVE BLOGGING
Trump Deposition Video Is Online
15 hours ago
STAFF PICKS

The video of Donald Trump's deposition in his case against restaurateur Jeffrey Zakarian is now live. Slate's Jim Newell and Josh Voorhees are live-blogging it while they watch.

Source:
SOUND LEVEL AFFECTED
Debate Commission Admits Issues with Trump’s Mic
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

The Commission on Presidential Debates put out a statement today that gives credence to Donald Trump's claims that he had a bad microphone on Monday night. "Regarding the first debate, there were issues regarding Donald Trump's audio that affected the sound level in the debate hall," read the statement in its entirety.

Source:
TRUMP VS. CHEFS
Trump Deposition Video to Be Released
16 hours ago
THE LATEST

"A video of Donald Trump testifying under oath about his provocative rhetoric about Mexicans and other Latinos is set to go public" as soon as today. "Trump gave the testimony in June at a law office in Washington in connection with one of two lawsuits he filed last year after prominent chefs reacted to the controversy over his remarks by pulling out of plans to open restaurants at his new D.C. hotel. D.C. Superior Court Judge Brian Holeman said in an order issued Thursday evening that fears the testimony might show up in campaign commercials were no basis to keep the public from seeing the video."

Source:
A CANDIDATE TO BE ‘PROUD’ OF
Chicago Tribune Endorses Gary Johnson
19 hours ago
THE LATEST

No matter that his recall of foreign leaders leaves something to be desired, Gary Johnson is the choice of the Chicago Tribune's editorial board. The editors argue that Donald Trump couldn't do the job of president, while hitting Hillary Clinton for "her intent to greatly increase federal spending and taxation, and serious questions about honesty and trust." Which leaves them with Johnson. "Every American who casts a vote for him is standing for principles," they write, "and can be proud of that vote. Yes, proud of a candidate in 2016."

NEVER TRUMP
USA Today Weighs in on Presidential Race for First Time Ever
1 days ago
THE DETAILS

"By all means vote, just not for Donald Trump." That's the message from USA Today editors, who are making the first recommendation on a presidential race in the paper's 34-year history. It's not exactly an endorsement; they make clear that the editorial board "does not have a consensus for a Clinton endorsement." But they state flatly that Donald Trump is, by "unanimous consensus of the editorial board, unfit for the presidency."

Source:
×